Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, spoke at the Kiryat Shaul Remembrance Day Memorial Ceremony in Tel Aviv Monday morning, telling those in attendance: “Your heroism, dear families, symbolizes the perseverance capacity of Israeli society, which stands up to the test — time after time — in the face of all the challenges which are placed before it. The sorrow and grief which will accompany you, day by day, hour by hour, becomes all of our sorrow.”
Ya’alon added: “We are a peace seeking nation. Our hand reaches out to the world, and we will strive with all our might to make peace with our neighbors. We do not want to lose our sons and daughters. But unfortunately, there are still many who refuse to recognize our right to a Jewish national home in the land of Israel in any borders, forcing us to fight back and cut their intentions short.”
Ya’alon also warned of threats to the Jewish state in the coming years. “Terror attacks, the firing of rockets at civilian populations and delegitimization campaigns are the challenges which stand before us in the years to come.. and… will force us to respond with a firm hand.”
Israelis were spending Monday remembering fallen soldiers and terror victims ahead of Tuesday’s Independence Day celebration.